Solution specific products
Highly stable formulae with well-documented and original research
Core anti-ageing philosophy for every woman
Skin “safe” ingredients minimising irritation
Lab quality… “hand-engineered in small batches”
Green chemistry & eco-friendly packaging
The 100% professional-only range was launched in 2009. The Medik8 name was taken from our highly-popular first product, Red Alert®, an anti-redness cream containing 0.8% vitamin K.
Today Medik8’s target is providing the best solutions for specific skin concerns, aiming for excellence in quality, delivering our promise and being the ultimate experts on skin health.
Why the shape of ingredient molecules matter
The topic of “chirality” is concerned with getting the most from your actives and limiting unnecessary irritation. A chiral molecule has a mirror-image form.
A molecule can be chiral or non-chiral. The phenomenon of chirality (from the Greek word for hand) is very important in the field of serious product formulation as explained simply below.
Two gloves look exactly the same, yet it is impossible to put your right hand in the left glove. Imagine your hand represents a biological skin receptor, let’s say for switching on the cell’s collagen production machinery, and a box full of pairs of gloves represents a box full of active ingredients, whereby if one was placed on the hand, would switch on the desired activity. Since half the box contains gloves that will not fit the hand, you in fact have only half a box of active ingredient even though it may appear to be full.
There are two reasons why correct chirality is important.
Firstly, if the ingredient is irritating, for example with Lactic Acid, there is little point adding double percentage of the D / L ingredient (a mixture of the “left” and “right” form) to achieve the same result as half the correct L isomer.
Secondly, it is remarkably common that the wrong isomer can actually have actually a negative impact or simply be inactive.
The downside of ‘chiral correctness’ is the huge cost implications of molecular purification. Chirally purified ingredients can cost 20 times the “racemic” 50:50 mixes. Many manufacturers include the wrong isomer of a chiral molecule because they are unaware of the importance of stereochemistry in formulating cosmetics and simply purchase the mix which is often the standard product from large chemical suppliers.
When Medik8 use an ingredient we always choose the chirally correct form where appropriate.
How being green helped Medik8 products perform better
We are dedicated to minimising the impact on the environment whenever we can. This is taken into account at each stage of development of our products, from the initial research to the final manufacturing.
We believe in green chemistry (the science of producing ingredients and formulating products using an energy efficient process) because it is better for the environment, it also can provide more stable formulations that are more compatible with the skin.
For example, “cold processing” means many of our products are designed to be blended at room temperature using more expensive emulsifiers which are less likely to clog pores. The eco side effect is that we do not need to heat gallons of water to create emulsion, thereby avoiding a huge amounts of CO2 emissions. At the same time, we are not dogmatic and appreciate that doing what we can to be ‘green’ should not interfere with our primary goal of producing effective products. So we will use hot mixes where appropriate.
The Medik8 range of products is packaged in ‘eco-friendly’ packaging that helps prevent the waste of paper. The following logos can be found on the majority of our packagings.
Why do Medik8 Scientists insist on small lab batches
Medik8 manufacture in small batch quantities to guarantee stability, freshness and potency. This is a picture of one Medik8 production technician at work.
This is to ensure that to ensure that Medik8 products are still powerful and effective when they reach the client. Many of the most active molecules used in cosmeceuticals and general skincare products are unfortunately quite unstable.
This means that the activity of the product will naturally decrease over time unless the formula has been optimised for stability.
Providing fresh products to the market is only one of many actions that we take to make sure that Medik8 products are as potent as possible when they reach the customer.
How Medik8 reduces sensitivity to powerful actives
Working with technology partners, Medik8 has developed a unique encapsulated system for vitamin A (retinol) products.
By encapsulating reactive molecules such as all-trans-retinol, this technology has the double effect of both enhancing stability and freshness but also in more slowly releasing the retinol molecules from the formula to the skin.
Medik8’s time-release delivery system can prevent the usually highly irritation caused to skin from higher concentrations of retinol by maintaining a slow but continuous delivery of the active ingredient, and avoiding the spike and trough of molecule delivery in regular retinol products.
How Medik8 increases the penetration of active ingredients
Medik8 uses premium refined light oils as carriers for many of its active ingredients due to the fact that oil is able to penetrate the skin more effectively than water.
Where Medik8 uses a micro-emulsion or liposome to protect the active ingredients and help with penetration of the epidermis of the skin.
Liposomes are an effective technological answer to transporting water-based actives. They are often likened to a microscopic soap-bubble with active ingredients inside. Continuing the analogy, their thin and elastic surface allows the “bubble” to deform and make an oval shape instead of its natural sphere. This is why liposomes are often called “elastic vesicles”, a vesicle being a medical term for a liposome.
Why sunlight is the biggest cause of Skin Ageing
Photoageing is an umbrella term that refers to the cumulative detrimental effects on the skin that are a direct result of prolonged UV exposure over a person’s lifetime. Photoageing is believed to be one of the primary causes of skin ageing.
The most common skin concerns resulting from photoageing are ‘age spots’ and other types of hyperpigmentation, premature wrinkles and lines, redness, uneven skin texture and dull skin appearance.
What are the harmful effects UV exposure?
Sunburn is the popular term applied to the marked erythema (redness) and pain that commonly follows imprudent sun exposure.
Put bluntly, ultraviolet radiation causes cellular damage. The body responds to the damage with increased blood flow to the capillary bed of the dermis in order to bring in cells to repair the damage. The extra blood in the capillaries causes redness – if one presses on sunburned skin it will turn white and then return to red as the capillaries refill.
Erythema is probably best thought of as a total failure of sun protection and is a marker for severe UV damage.
2. SKIN AGEING
Skin is prone to be more vulnerable to photoageing based on skin colour. On the whole, the lighter and less naturally pigmented the skin, the greater the risk of photoageing and its associated skin problems.
What are free radicals?
Free-radicals are most commonly defined in the context of skincare as high-energy particles that damage collagen and elastin, the skin’s scaffolding, and break down the skin cell’s protective wall, leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
What generates free radicals into the skin?
“Internal” free-radicals are a natural by-product of the body burning food into energy. The body has its own mechanisms of dealing with these free radicals which it derives from antioxidant-rich food stuffs.
“External”, or environmental free-radicals, can be highly dangerous and are thought to be the major cause of premature skin ageing. Generally, one is exposed to external free-radicals from smoking, sunbathing and a polluted environment (eg. urban air quality and exhaust fumes).
What is an antioxidant?
In the context of skincare, antioxidants are the arch-enemies of free radicals. Alongside sun protection, antioxidants are of the highest importance in any anti-ageing skincare program.
There is a significant body of quality peer-reviewed* evidence to show that topical antioxidants can help to prevent skin ageing. They work by “soaking-up” free-radicals that are generated externally (from UV exposure and pollutants) and internally (from bi-products of cellular metabolism). Antioxidants terminate the harmful chain reactions caused by free radicals before they can inflict cellular damage.
Moreover, vitamin C and other antioxidants can offer broad protection against photo-oxidative stress to the skin, which may additionally affect photoageing.
*(Thiele, 2001; Thiele et al, 2001; Podda et al, 2001; Fitzpatrick and Rostan, 2002; Traikovich, 1999; Humbert et al, 2003)